Tottenham Hotspur are in the midst of a soft end to the season with a third win in four Premier League games in the month since Jose Mourinho was sacked.
They climbed back above London rival West Ham and into sixth place with this comfortable win against Wolves, which is probably about where they belong in the grand scheme of things.
They matched the 59 points won in the last campaign with two games left and they can look forward to more Europa League football if they don’t stumble against Aston Villa and Leicester.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg doubled Tottenham Hotspur’s lead in the second half from a rebound
The Tottenham midfielder (left) is celebrating with teammate and left back Sergio Reguilon
“I thought we were excellent,” said interim boss Ryan Mason, and yet he won’t be fooled. The problems haven’t all gone with Mourinho. There is work to be done for the next permanent manager.
For now, however, some harmony is being restored. Spurs beat teams with little to play for and teams they really should beat.
It helps, of course, to let Harry Kane shoot again. Kane led the way with English boss Gareth Southgate looking at White Hart Lane. He jumped for the first goal just before half-time and could easily have scored a hat-trick.
Kane almost found the net in the fifth minute. Midfielders Giovani Lo Celso and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg rushed to win possession deep into Wolves’ area, and Kane shot the ball low over the smooth surface from distance.
Rui Patricio, defeated by the pace of the shot, was relieved to see it hit the foot of a post and slip away. After that, Conor Coady was back on his own goal line to play a header away from Kane, who somehow defeated Patricio with a high spinning ball.
Harry Kane opened the score for the home team at the end of the first half with a cool finish
Kane’s goal put him right at the top of the scoring charts with 22 strokes
SPURS 2-1 WOLVES: MATCH FACTS
Tracks (4-2-3-1): Lloris 6; Tanganga 6.5, Animal 6, Alderweireld 6, Reguilon 6.5; Lo Celso 6.5 (Winks 68, 6), Hojbjerg 7.5; Bale 7 (Sissoko 89), Alli 7 (Ndombele 82), son 6.5; Kane 8.
Subs not used: Hart, Doherty, Sanchez, Lamela, Bergwijn, Moura.
Goals: Kane 45, Hojbjerg 62
Manager: Ryan Mason 7
Wolves (4-2-3-1): Patricio 6.5; Hoever 5, Coady 6.5, Saiss 6, Semedo 6; Dendoncker 6, Moutinho 5; Traore 6.5, Vitinha 5 (Jose 62.5), Gibbs-White 6 (Neves 73.5); Silva 5 (Corbeanu 82).
Subs not used: Ruddy, Ait-Nouri, Marcal, Da Silva, Boly, Cundle, Kilman.
Manager: Nuno Espirito Santo 6
Referee: Martin Atkinson 6
- League One
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Coady was on the alert to move away from Lo Celso as some of his teammates were busy complaining to referee Martin Atkinson about their goalkeeper’s challenge.
However, the Wolves captain was unable to stop Kane when the Spurs forward drove away on a pass from Hojbjerg in the last minute of the first half.
Kane took the ball, dodged Coady’s challenge, shook Patricio and scored confidently.
“A simple pass that breaks all the rules,” threw Wolves boss Nuno. ‘We simply cannot allow that. The same on the second goal. Sometimes we create our own problems.
‘We have to solve it immediately. We can get goals. The way we’ve admitted them is what I’m disappointed with. ‘
Romain Saiss got a chance to score the equalizer for Wolves, but had no problems with his header
Dele Alli put on a brisk performance and hit the post after launching a first counterattack
It was Kane’s first goal under Mason and his 22nd of the Premier League campaign to boost his personal quest for the Golden Boot. And it was no more than Tottenham deserved.
Wolves relied heavily on Adama Traore’s counterattack in the first half.
Twice he rolled in from the right flank and accelerated through the center of the field, drawing in defenders and finding Fabio Silva in the space to his right.
Silva was also unable to repent. The first cut off Eric Dier and walked wide. The second was dragged over the goal and next to the goal, a disappointing finish. With a better finish, Wolves might have changed the pattern of the game.
Shortly after the break, Romain Saiss headed tame on Hugo Lloris when he got a good chance at level.
Silva missed another good opportunity later in the game, after a good approach game by Morgan Gibbs-White, and Traore hit another impressive point with another poor finish.
Gareth Bale also thrived on the right side greeting Ryan Mason after leaving late
Mason’s win at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium keeps their top six hopes on track
At this stage, however, they were 2-0 down and could have been further adrift.
Patricio denied Kane with a beautiful low save to turn a low drive on a post after Dele Alli won the ball from Joao Moutinho.
The shot bounced back to Alli, who beat the goalkeeper and saw his attempt hit the other post. “I was a little disappointed in myself for not taking my chance,” said Alli, who opposed Tanguy Ndombele’s preference and responded with one of his better performances in what was another difficult year for him.
Hojbjerg scored the second place finish for Tottenham in the 62nd minute. Sergio Reguilon made a positive sprint down the left flank and passed the ball to Gareth Bale via Heung-min Son.
Patricio couldn’t stop Bale’s shot and Hojbjerg was the first to rebound, scoring his first goal since January.
LIVE ALL ACTION AGAIN WHEN IT HAPPENED …
Tottenham will host Wolves on Sunday afternoon with another chance for star striker Harry Kane to take over the race for the Golden Shoe.
Kane is level with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah on 21 goals with three games to go to add to his number.
In addition to seeing Kane flourish, interim boss Ryan Mason will seek a response after a heavy defeat to Leeds last time.
Follow Sportsmail’s DAN RIPLEY for live EPL coverage of Tottenham vs Wolves, including score, lineups and build-up.